Dogwood Arts Festival Still a Springtime Jewel

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Dogwood Arts Festival Still a Springtime Jewel

Posted: 04/10/2007
The 47th annual Dogwood Arts Festival, presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, arrives in full splendor Wednesday, April 11, when more than 70 miles of the area's most scenic trails and a wide variety of new festival attractions open to the public.

Officials will launch the festival and trails Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Fox Den subdivision entrance on Kingston Pike. The Festival will conclude April 29 with a Cardboard Regatta boat competition at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge.

Eddie Mannis, president of the Dogwood Arts Festival Board, says the continuing popularity of the independent, not-for-profit festival is the outcome of the hard work of more than 1,000 dedicated volunteers. "The Dogwood Arts Festival's vision is to provide the ultimate experience combining the arts and natural beauty," Mannis says. "Our mission is to help fund arts education, promote the visual and performing arts, and help preserve and enhance the beauty of the region."

Recognized as among the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, the Dogwood Arts Festival has also been proclaimed a Southeastern springtime jewel by The New York Times, Southern Living magazine, and media celebrities Willard Scott and Paul Harvey.

Festival organizers trace the event's beginnings date to 1947 when author John Gunther declared Knoxville as "The ugliest city in America." The insult prompted city leaders to change the negative perception. In 1955, the first Dogwood Trail was opened.

Today, the trails have grown to include neighborhoods and open gardens in Knoxville, Farragut, Fountain City, and Oak Ridge. In addition, the festival has made Knoxville a destination art city, offering a myriad of fine arts, crafts, and performing arts attractions over the 19 day festival.

Miles of Trails

The 2007 featured trail, opening April 11 in Farragut, begins at the entrance to the Fox Den subdivision, travels eight miles through Farragut, and includes Country Manor and Village Green subdivisions. Other Dogwood Arts Festival trails wind through Chapman Highway, Fountain City, Holston Hills, Lake Loudon, Sequoyah Hills and Westmoreland. Free guided bus tours are available at festival venues to the featured trail. Five shorter byway trails are also open at Deane Hill, Halls, Island Home, Morningside and North Hills communities.

Jazz Concert

A tribute to Louis Armstrong featuring trumpeter/vocalist Byron Stripling with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra will be held April 11, at 8:00 p.m., at the Bijou Theatre. The evening's program will feature some of Armstrong's biggest hits including "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Hello Dolly," "St. James Infirmary," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You," "What a Wonderful World," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and "Dinah."

Art in Public Places

"Big Art - Big Impact," is the theme for this year's Art in Public Places. Unveiling will occur on April 11, at 5:00 p.m., in the Krutch Park extension. The 90-day exhibition of 12 large sculptures created by nationally renowned artist Wayne Trapp will be the first of series of multi-year exhibitions.

Annual Dogwood Arts Festival Parade

Themed "Everything is Coming up Dogwoods," the official Dogwood Arts Festival parade will take place April 14, at 11:00 a.m. The parade will begin at Hill and Gay streets, march down Gay Street, and conclude at Depot Street. Giant, helium-filled balloons, colorful floats, and celebrity appearances will make the parade a memorable time for the expected 25,000 festival participants.

Festival on Market Square

More than 60 artisans display and selling paintings, pottery, glass, jewelry, woodwork, metal and handmade creations will set up exhibits at Market Square, April 13 and 14, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and April 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free, live performances by country, string, blues, and folk bands will be featured on two stages.

Cardboard Regatta

The third annual Dogwood Arts Festival Cardboard Regatta marks the end of the 2007 festival. Pre-race boat viewing begins at noon and races start at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, April 29, at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge. The race attracts paddlers in boats constructed from cardboard or similar materials who do their best to remain afloat. Prizes include best looking, ugliest, and best sinking entries. The Cardboard Regatta immediately follows the 2007 Master's Rowing Dogwood Regatta that attracts hundreds of competitive rowers from all over the U.S. The Masters Rowing Dogwood Regatta is hosted by U.S. Rowing and the Oak Ridge Rowing Association

For more information about the Dogwood Arts Festival call 865-637-4561 or visit